INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts played their best football of the season in December.
They're hoping to continue the trend into January — and February.
After pulling off yet another double-digit victory Sunday, 30-10 over Jacksonville, the Colts are chugging into the playoffs fully charged.
"Our momentum is sky high right now. We're hot," receiver T.Y. Hilton said after catching 11 passes for 155 yards, both career highs, and finishing with the first 1,000-yard season of his career.
While other playoff teams stumbled along the way over the past couple of weeks, the Colts (11-5) have been rolling. They've outscored their last three opponents 78-20 and have given up just two touchdowns in the last 12 quarters.
Yes, two of the wins came over two of the league's worst teams, Houston and the Jaguars, at home, but the third was at Kansas City, which Indianapolis will face in a rematch Saturday afternoon. And for the first time since the Peyton Manning era ended, the Colts will be playing a postseason game at home, too.
What's changed? Plenty.
For the first time since losing Pro Bowl receiver Reggie Wayne with a season-ending knee injury, the Colts are back in sync. Indy has turned around a six-week stretch of alternating wins and losses by finishing the season with three straight victories. That matches Indy's longest winning streak of the season.
And the timing couldn't be better. Those who have faced the Colts recently have seen a very different team than the one that stumbled through November.
"First of all, that's a very good team. We knew watching that tape they execute in all three phases," first-year Jags coach Gus Bradley said. "It was a great test for us. "
But the Colts will be tested at the most meaningful time of the NFL season.